How to Trim Down Your Wedding Guest List

Follow these tips to help reduce your wedding guest list (and save money).

Why the Size of Your Wedding Guest List Matters

Your guest list determines so many other details, and the more guests you add to your list, the more everything costs. Making sure your head count includes everyone important, without contradicting your budget, can be a balancing act.

If your wedding guest list and budget could use some trimming, consider these tips (without hurting feelings or experiencing guilt.)

wedding guest list in frame
reception table setting
wedding guest list using books

Prioritize Your Guests

  • Begin building your guest list by creating three columns:
    • Immediate family
    • Close friends
    • Acquaintances.

Talk with Immediate Family

  • Each person on your guest list will cost you an average of $100.
  • Before you remove family members, you might want to discuss it with your parents or anyone contributing to the cost.
  • Explain that your wedding budget allows for a certain number of people.
  • If your family wants to extend additional invitations, perhaps they can cover the cost.

Be Firm About Plus Ones

  • You are not required to allow single friends to bring a date to your wedding reception. It is your choice to decide where to draw the line. To avoid offending someone, you may want to consider allowing guests in long term relationships to bring their significant other. When making your seating arrangements, single guests will likely appreciate being placed at a table with other singles.

Consider Skipping These People

  • If you haven’t talked since high school, college, you moved, etc., consider inviting someone you speak to more often or extended family first.
  • Just because someone invited you to their wedding, it doesn’t mean an automatic invitation to yours. You shouldn’t feel like you “owe” them an invite to your wedding—it’s your day, and you should be surrounded by friends and family that you really want to be there.
  • One of the most contentious discussions about wedding guests lists often centers on invitations to children. To avoid hurt feelings you might want to adopt a kids rule. You can invite children, have an adult only reception or include immediate family.

Consider Travel

  • On average, 30 percent of those invited will be unable to attend. This will depend greatly on the date, location and how many guests would be required to travel. If your guest list is too big, consider removing those that are highly unlikely to travel.

Coworkers or No Coworkers

  • Even if you’re close to your colleagues, you might consider cutting them from the list if you’re in a pinch.
  • The easiest way to avoid a headache is not to invite any coworkers at all.
  • But if you’re close to some of your coworkers (you socialize outside the office and regularly text or call them) and everyone knows it, it’s fine to invite them.
  • Just don’t hand them their invites at work or make a big deal out of it. When it comes to co-workers it can get trickier. 
Livestream Your Wedding

Need to trim your guest list, but still want those loved ones to feel included in your wedding day? Livestream your wedding! Have comfort knowing your friends and family can share in your wedding day memories from the safety of their own homes.


Professional Technical Director on site


HD streaming quality


Unlimited online viewers


Custom broadcast webpage

Here’s how easy it is to end the overwhelm:

easy as one, two, three

Let's hop on a quick call.

Start with a pressure-free, no-obligation conversation with us. We’ll chat about your wedding vision and let you decide if we’re a good fit. 

Lock down the perfect team.

Based on your style, personality, and budget, we’ll recommend several fully vetted photographers, videographers, and DJs. Through their video portfolios, you’ll see how they approach their work so you can hand-select your perfect match.

Love your wedding.

Now relax and look forward to your day, knowing you’ve hired people you can trust and who’ll treat you like friends. 

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